Flyover lake analysis

Lake analysis
On July 22, 2006 a LVA board member attended a Cola meeting in Waterville.
Alan Cibuzar of A.W. Reserarch Laboratories in Brainard presented information about a lake flyover to identify run off, erosion, tile outlets, drain field problems, and other lake problems.
for more information go to the website for A.W. Labs.

2006 The Lake Volney Association Board met yesterday and some questions were asked.  Before you do a flyover should residents on and near the lake be notified that this is being done?

We are conducting an EAO or Environmental Assessment Overflight.  This is a basic flight that detects the major concerns on a lake.  Unless a septic system is surface failing, this flight detects areas where one or all dwellings may be loading the lake.  If we were dong a Ground Water Intrusion Overflight (GWI) we would be specifically identifying individual tanks, drainfields and each dwellings effluent flow.  But that may come later, the first step are the basics.  I don’t think it will make any difference if you do or don’t notify the residents.  The data is meant to be a learning tool to help lake residents protect and improve the lake.

 Should the County or Lake Association notify these people?

When the report is completed and we present it, I suggest that only the Associations members be present, unless we find something very critical and we suggest that the government unit that can best assist in solving the problem be at the presentation.

  After you perform the flyover analysis how is the information made available?

You will receive one printed report and a CD containing the entire report.  It is entirely the property of the Assocation (assuming they paid for it) and they may reproduce it however they want to.

  Is it make available to the Lake Association Board and County?The report belongs to who ever pays for it (I’m assuming the Lake Association)  and can only be used by those people or entities that the Association want to release it to.  Do you have any suggestions on how to handle the situation where some lake shore residents may not want everyone to know the analysis of their septic system?Again the flight will provide a general idea of septic loading unless a septic system is really out of control.  The Lake Association Board of Directors will review the report before it is presented to the membership and if they determine there is a politically sensitive observation it can be handled in a delicate manner.  The goal is to educate the landowner and have them correct the problem that is damaging the Lake not to make anyone uncomfortable..   Please advise.  Thank you for your attention to this matter. Steve P, Treasurer Lake Volney Assn.Thank you Steve,  Good Questions,:   Alan


Lake Volney Association

October 2007

If you recently saw or heard a small plane flying low overhead, you were witness to the first phase of an Environmental Assessment Overflight (EAO) in which a number of lakes in the area, including Volney, participated. The EAO was planned by LeSueur County Environmental Services, our Tri-county Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA), the Lake Volney Association (LVA), and other lake associations within the three neighboring counties. The flyover was conducted by A.W. Research Labs (AWRL) of Brainerd, Minnesota. Information gained through this flyover will help LeSueur County and the Lake Volney Association better assess Volney point and non-point pollution sources to ensure our action plans for the future are effective in continuing to restore our lake.

Who is AWRL?

A.W. Research Laboratories has used low altitude remote sensing imagery to identify nutrient and toxic conditions in lakes and rivers since 1974. The use of aerial imagery quickly and economically summarizes environmental conditions and puts them in lay terms that are easily understood and utilized. AWRL previously conducted EAO of neighboring lakes such as Elysian and the Waseca Area Lakes. Lakes that participated in the EAO with Volney are Jefferson, German, Washington, Tetonka and others.

What can I expect from the EAO and AWRL?

From the plane, AWRL recorded environmental concerns on the shoreline of Volney with visible, hyperspectral, thermal and near infrared cameras. Next, AWRL will correlate the images to geographic maps and analyze land use practices that may be adding to the deterioration of our water quality. The analysis enhances the identification of point and non-point pollution and determines their probable sources. Lastly, AWRL will recommend best management practices. All information and recommendations are provided to LeSueur County and the Lake Association in a final report and presentation.

Why do we need an EAO?

n Environmental Assessment Overflight will help to retain and improve our water quality, said Lauren Klement, Environmental Resources Specialist for LeSueur County. The information we learn from the EAO will ive us a tool to take to the county board to get funding and dollars appropriated for water cleanup, added Klement.

Will AWRL results and recommendations be shared with the LVA membership?

A general overview of the results of the EAO will be shared with the membership late spring 2008, once the final recommendation is received from AWRL. However, any point or non-point pollution sources that may affect an individual property owner will be shared in a confidential manner with the member or homeowner.

Who is funding the cost of the EAO?


Half the cost of the EAO is being funded by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with Clean Water Partnership money. The other half is being funded by Lake Volney Association (for the work accomplished at Lake Volney).

Are there other uses of the EAO information?

Further uses of the EAO information, according to AWRL, include long-term applications, such as:

A resource management tool to aid in planning and zoning issues, as well as to protect property values.

A historical data base for comparison of future conditions.

An easily understood means for showing individuals their effect upon the environment, and for targeting geographical areas or activities for future educational activities.

A rapid method of reviewing a particular location without actually going into the field, and a method for reducing the costs of chemical analysis by identifying areas of known problems (or high quality) prior to developing a sampling regime.

A method of identifying the magnitude or importance and subsequent prioritization of environmental concerns draining the sub-watersheds entering into the lake. This will enable the county or association to monitor these target areas to prioritize efforts in further investigation of the pollution sources.